Monday, August 9, 2010

Aug. 11 (8/11) Serves as Good Reminder for Americans to Always Call 811 Before Digging

/PRNewswire/ -- A recent report released by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the leading association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of the people who dig near them, indicated an underground utility line is damaged during digging projects once every three minutes in the United States.

The same report found that 34 percent of underground utility lines are damaged because this free phone call was never made.

With Aug. 11 almost here, CGA hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for all Americans to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

"On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line," said CGA President Bob Kipp. "We hope the '8/11 Day' message will resonate with the American public, leading to a reduction in the amount of damage done to underground utilities and an increase in safety."

Anyone planning to dig during the weekend of Aug. 14 and 15 should call 811 prior to Aug. 11 to allow professional locators a few days to mark the premises.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

Visit http://www.call811.com/ for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

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